Your Smartphone Can Be Hacked More Easily Than You Think

In this age where privacy is a major concern for us, it sure is easy to steal anyone’s personal information.

Any decent hacker with access to a public wifi could hack into your phone and steal your credentials, personal photos and other things which he or she could use to blackmail you. Or they could take control of your bank account info to transfer cash out of your account.

Given these nightmare scenarios, its important to beware of the common ways how hackers can potentially gain control over your phone.

Here are three ways they can do just that:

Via Public Wifi

Connecting to wifi on a public source, like an airport, a cafe etc. is always risky. Once in, the hacker can view everything you do on your phone as long as you’re connected to the public wifi.

When connecting to a public or open wifi, your smartphone often displays a warning asking you if you’re sure about connecting to an open wifi network or may warn you that it may be insecure. Most people just ignore the warning and connect to the network.

Adi Sharabani, co founder of the mobile security company Skycure, said.

92 percent of people click continue on this screen, Your phone actually has a lot of really good built-in technology to warn you when you are going to make a poor security decision.

And what we found through our general penetration testing practice and talking to some of our customers is people are very conditioned to just click through whatever warnings it is because they want the content

Avoid connecting to public or open wifi networks, and make sure who you’re sharing sensitive information with.

Via Operating System Flaws

There are security vulnerabilities in Android as well as iOS. The developers try to patch those security holes as soon as possible, but despite their best attempts there are always new security threats being discovered.

Sharabani added that on average one vulnerability is publicly disclosed every day, and at least 10 percent of those vulnerabilities are critical vulnerabilities, which could compromise your smartphone and allow someone to remotely gain access to it.

The manufacturers periodically release updates for their respective operating systems, with many of these containing security updates as well which fix the security flaws present in them.

Despite this, people do not update as soon as possible due to concerns over device performance degrading or battery life issues. Once the updates are out, hackers specifically target these non-updated devices.

Via Malicious Apps

Apps installed from non-official sources have a higher chance of containing spyware or malware that may send information from your phone to a remote server controlled by a hacker.

The two major app stores the Google Play Store and the iTunes App Store have several million apps which cannot be individually checked for security. This means that the more apps you have, the higher the risk for having a potentially harmful application installed.

Sharabani says to check the warning messages when installing apps. If an app needs access to your contact list despite being unrelated to messaging, advertising or similar category of apps, there’s a high degree of possibility that you got a rogue app.

Conclusion

We can never be 100% safe from security risk problems in our smartphones but we can at least decrease the risk. Adopting some common sense tips and practices can make your digital life virtually stress-free.

As they say, prevention is always better than the cure.

A techie, Overwatch and Street Fighter enthusiast, and Sub Editor at ProPakistani.


  • M Waseem Akhtar

    Why would anyone be interested to hack my mobile. I am a common man with average income, having average job. If anyone is interested, without any reason, he’d be welcomed. I’ve already set the selinux to permissive on cm13 installed on my Xperia SP.

    • Mushahid Hussain

      you will not be asking this question if someone hacks your account and start using your identity to con others :) so its always better to be safe rather than being sorry later.

    • Sheldon Cooper

      desperate times, desperate needs

      setting SEL to permissive won’t do any change. The one who knows the way around will gain access to your phone no matter what? Ever heard about ss7 vulnerability? Or Phenom?

      • Hassan Khan Khalil

        SS7 vulnerability is GSM design bug.

        • Sheldon Cooper

          yes and it’s link with ur phone. With ss7, one can route ur phone GSM data (credential harvesting).

          But even designing an apk of less then 1mb size is more then enough to fetch data easily.

    • Najam

      Just do not join public Wi-Fi, keep bluetooth off, keep NFC off, and do not respond to any weblinks shared via SMS from network users.

  • Eli Ehsan

    DONT’ STORE YOUR SENSITIVE INFO ON SMARTY THEN. WHO’S STOPPING YOU?? *Gillani Face*

  • nab

    public WiFi pe koi kese access kar sakta he hamara cellphone ?

    • PANAIA JUNE

      WiFi ya net jab use karte han to WiFi ki Soorat me sare Packets WiFi pe jaate han, phr waha se ISP pe or waha se Internet, koi or b woi WiFi use kar ra ho to wo Sare Ap k Packets Dekh Skta ha Chand Applications ki madad se wo Apni Device ko As A Router Show karega or Phr Apka Mobile us Device se hota Wa Packet Guzarega Jisse Apki Sari Unencrypted Data wo Easily Dekh skta ha, is k ilawa DNS se wo Phishing b easily kar skta ha.

  • Rashid Ali Chaudary

    Well I’ve read somewhere that 90% andriods phones are vulnerable and can be hacked by simple sms. Never heard such a thing about Blackberry. BlackBerrys have been fully encrypted for over a decade, and still such devices cant be hacked.